This morning as I rolled up to the station I noticed a man standing on the corner with what appeared to be a long stick in one hand and what looked like a bucket in the other. Based on appearance alone I surmised I could probably take him in a worst case scenario. You never know. I’ve seen some very weird people hanging out in front of the radio station in the wee hours of the morning. You always have to be on the defensive.
As I opened the door of my vehicle the gentleman began walking slowly to where I was parked. “Morning,” he said. I replied with “And a beautiful morning it is.” There was nothing threatening about this man whatsoever. As a matter of fact he wasn’t just hanging around up to no good, he was actually doing his part to clean up the downtown area.
He told me he’s known as “Downtown Joe” and was an employee of the City of Regina for years before retiring. I don’t know where he moved to after he left Regina, but he’s been back for a few months now. His reason for being on the streets at 3 o’clock in the morning? He has to get up early for church every morning anyway, so he thought he’d do his part in keeping our city clean by roaming the downtown area picking up small bits of garbage. He had one of the sticks that you use to pick up the garbage and a bucket to put it in. It’s nice to know my eyes weren’t deceiving me 5 minutes earlier.
This morning was the first time I’d ever seen Downtown Joe, and to be honest, I hope it’s not the last. Hats off to someone who gets up early, on his own volition, and does his part to make the city he lives in a better place.
Thank you to all of the “Downtown Joes” out there.